This simple 2 ingredient oobleck recipe is the easiest way to make oobleck. Making oobleck is a great way for kids to learn about the science of liquids through play at home or in the classroom. We are going to show you how to make oobleck, our favorite oobleck recipe, what is special this non-Newtonian liquid and some fun STEM oobleck activities for kids of all ages.

How to Make oobleck (text) - yellow background with spilled oobleck in white with red bowl of oobleck on side - Kids Activities Blog
Let’s make this easy oobleck recipe!

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I think the best place to start is to figure out exactly what is this strange oobleck substance. Oobleck got its name from the Dr. Seuss book, Batholomew and the Oobleck and is a non-toxic way to easily demonstrate what a non-Newtonian fluid is by using a suspension of starch.

What IS Oobleck?

Oobleck and other pressure-dependent substances (such as Silly Putty and quicksand) are not liquids such as water or oil. They are known as non-Newtonian fluids.

Scientific American
  • A non-Newtonian liquid demonstrates variable viscosity, which means that the viscosity (or “thickness” of the fluid) may change as force is applied or, less commonly, over time.
  • A Newtonian liquid such as water has a constant viscosity.
ingredients for oobleck recipe - Kids Activities Blog - yellow background with large cornstarch container and a bottle of water pouring into a glass
This is all you need to make oobleck!

Easy Oobleck Ingredients & Supplies

Alright! Enough talking about oobleck, let’s make some and get hands-on experience with non-Newtonian liquids!

Oobleck Recipe Ratio of Water to Starch

While there is not an exact amount of water or cornstarch ratio when making oobleck, the General guidelines for oobleck ratio is to try 1 cup of water for every 1-2 cups of cornstarch.

Watch Us Make This Oobleck Recipe

How To Make Oobleck

(Optional) Step 1

If you are going to make colored oobleck, the best place to start is to add the food coloring to the water before you add the cornstarch. Make the water your desired color knowing that it will be lighter after adding the white starch.

Step 2

Combine the water and cornstarch together. You can start by measuring a 1:1 ratio of water to cornstarch and then adding additional cornstarch to see what happens…

You are looking for a consistency that cracks when you shove your stirrer through it quickly, but “melts” back into the cup.

oobleck science activities for kids - playing with oobleck (text) images of children running different oobleck science experiments with colored oobleck and using cotton balls for discovery - Kids Activities Blog
Let’s learn about the oobleck science!

How do you make Oobleck with color?

The easiest way to color any oobleck recipe is with food coloring.

Oobleck Recipe FAQ

What is oobleck used for?

What we love about oobleck is that it is used not only for play like homemade playdough or slime, but it is also a great science activity for kids. Another benefit of oobleck is the sensory input caused during play changes with how it is handled.

How long will oobleck last?

Homemade oobleck in its dough form will last several days if stored in a completely airtight container, but works best the day it is made. If you dry the oobleck like we did for the Oobleck cotton balls for hammering, those will last a long time!

How to make oobleck last longer:

We have tried several ways of making oobleck last longer, but always just make a fresh batch because it is so easy!

Can oobleck freeze?

Oobleck does not freeze well meaning it doesn’t return to its original texture and consistency, but running an experiment on what happens to oobleck when it freezes could be really fun!

What is Oobleck solid or liquid?

Your guess is as good as mine! {Giggle} Oobleck is a liquid when there are few forces being exerted, but when forces like pressure are applied it tends to turn into a solid.

How to make oobleck less sticky:

If your oobleck is too sticky, then add more cornstarch. If it is too dry then add more water.

How do you get oobleck out of carpet?

Oobleck is made out of cornstarch and water so your main concern is to dilute the cornstarch to remove it from the carpet. You can do that by wetting the area thoroughly (adding vinegar to the water can help) and wiping until you have removed all the cornstarch. Another option is allowing it to partially dry and then removing the hardened cornstarch in clumps followed by cleaning with water.

More Examples of non-Newtonian liquids

When you think of examples of non-Newtonian liquids, you think of ketchup, syrup and Oobleck.

  • Ketchup becomes runnier, or less viscous, the more you shake it.
  • Oobleck is just the opposite – the more you play with it, the harder (more viscous) it becomes!

Oobleck Science Activities for Kids

I love this oobleck activity for kids of all ages because at each level, they will be learning different STEM things. Oobleck is a lesson that just keeps kids learning.

One of the great things about making homemade oobleck is that the ways you can play with it are endless. You can try different things and then figure out why it works that way.

ways to make and play with oobleck - brightly colored oobleck being poured over cotton balls with a strainer - Kids Activities Blog
Let’s play with this cool non newtonian liquid!

Favorite Oobleck Experiments to Try

  • Turn your cup of oobleck upside down quickly, what happens to it?  It should stay in the cup even if the cup is not upright until force is applied to the cup, breaking the colloid tension.
  • Fill a strainer with Oobleck.   Watch how it slowly drizzles out.   If it stops dripping, what happens if you stir the goo?
  • Pour a layer of goo into the bottom of a casserole dish. Slap the Oobleck mixture.  Does it act like water and splash?   Try to hit it harder. What happens?
  • Can you take a spatula and lift a “slice” of oobleck off the plate? What happens?
Oobleck covered cotton balls hardened in the oven laying on tin foil ready for a hammer on the drive way - Kids activities blog
Let’s let Oobleck harden and then crack these cotton balls with a hammer…

HOW TO MAKE OOBLECK COTTON BALLS FOR HAMMERING

Inspired by Time for Play, we decided to bake our cotton balls to harden the oobleck and create a smashing activity for the kids for the back porch or drive way:

  1. Drizzle oobleck over cotton balls laying on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet.
  2. Baked oobleck covered cotton balls in the oven at 300 degrees until they dry out (usually takes 50 minutes or so).  
  3. Let oobleck cotton balls cool.
  4. Remove hardened cotton balls from baking sheet and take outside with hammer.
  5. Kids can crack and smash cotton balls with hammer for fun.

One of our boys loves hammering and his younger, not ready-for-nails brother joined him!

Yield: 1 batch

How to make Oobleck

ways to make and play with oobleck

Create this non-toxic non-Newtonian liquid with a simple oobleck ratio. Easy enough to do at home or in the classroom, kids of all ages are amazed by what this part liquid, part solid can do! Great for hours of play.

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $5

Materials

  • cornstarch
  • water
  • (optional) food coloring

Tools

  • popsicle sticks
  • toys to experiment with: strainers, colander, paper clips, cotton balls, spatulas...whatever you have on hand!

Instructions

  1. If you want colored oobleck, start by coloring the water first with the desired intensity of food dye.
  2. Combine the water and cornstarch in a 1 cup to 1-2 cup ratio until you have a consistency that cracks when you shove a stir stick into it, but melts back when you remove it.

More Oobleck Fun from Kids Activities Blog

You should also check out these fun toddler activities and art projects for 2 year olds.

How did your oobleck recipe turn out? What oobleck ratio did you end up with?



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4 Comments

  1. This stuff looks so cool! Thanks for sharing, it looks like a great activity to do with the littles!

  2. Oobleck is a ton of fun. I like your ideas for play!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  3. I have never heard of Oobleck before, my kids would have fun so much fun making it and playing with it.

  4. Hugh! I never heard of this stuff and I think my girls would love it. I am putting it on my list to try.